-Humanity is under invested in green tech
-Plenty of investment in “content”
I’ve written before on how my sense is that we are under-invested in environmental technology.
I was looking at investment in content from Apple and Netflix and it really hit home.
US Military R&D Only
US Govt Green Tech
UK Govt Green Tech
AstraZeneca Pharma R&D
Apple, new TV content
Netflix, new TV content
*UK has this week promised another £1bn
Shell R&D spend = $1bn
Apple is spending $6bn this year in content for movies and tv.
Netflix is on track for $15bn spend (source FT, end).
Back, in 2015 this blog (see end) calculated it would take 34,739 hours to watch the whole Netflix catalogue.
And in 2018, Netflix added 1,500 of original content.
Assuming you could spare 2 hours a day, every day of your life to watch Netflix.
It would take around 49 years to watch the entire catalogue currently. And every year, at current rates. it would take you 2 extra years to watch.
So Netflix already has more content than a human can reasonably possibly watch in a life time and is spending $15bn more this year. Humanity will spend a few dollars a month to binge watch on TV box sets, but we’re not doing the same on pollution.
Meanwhile The US government can only spend $3bn on green tech funding, and Shell spends about $1bn on energy R&D.
Apple coming from nowhere is spending 6x more on content than Shell is spending on energy R&D.
OK. I understand that you can spend or only should R&D on project which are worthwhile but given the scale of the challenge in environmental challenges, and the huge returns to society / companies from solving some of our big climate challenges (eg fertiliser, energy, steel, aluminium, flying, mobility, etc. to name some).
This does seem a bit of a mismatch partly due to the returns to society and the externality cost being much harder to monetise appropriately, I guess.
No obvious answers from me - the known policy responses seem to be politically hard - although innovation investment seems clear to me.
FT on content spend: https://www.ft.com/content/4f7f4326-c2bf-11e9-a8e9-296ca66511c9